Cretan traditional dances. Pentozales

Pentozales is perhaps THE trademark dance of Crete - performed all over the island. It is especially lively and rapid, especially at the end.

The basic steps are five in number (hence its name in part – pente=5, zales from the word to jump, with a play on the word for dizzy); based on a rhythm with 8 beats to it.

You dance it with your arms on your neighbour’s shoulders, in a near circle.

Pentozalia - Psarantonis

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It is said that the dance was invented by Daskalogiannis (the hero of the Cretan Revolution of 1770) and his chieftains who decided to create a new and warlike dance – to symbolize the revolution, the fifth to date.

The fifth ‘leap’ against the Turks, so to speak. At length the revolution failed; Daskalogiannis met a most tragic end: but the Pentozales remains as a remembrance of his attempt.

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